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Managing social images in naturalistic versus laboratory settings: Implications for understanding and studying self-presentation

Authors


Mark R. Leary, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, P. O. Box 90085, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708.

E-mail: leary@duke.edu

Abstract

Over the past 50 years, research on self-presentation has revealed a great deal about how people construct social images by managing the impressions that others form of them. However, inspection of the dominant research paradigms reveals that most researchers have not addressed central features of self-presentation as they occur in everyday life. Using a framework that identifies four primary features of everyday self-presentation, we compare and contrast the nature of naturalistic self-presentation in everyday life with the ways in which self-presentation has been conceptualized, operationalized, and studied by researchers. We also discuss the implications of failing to incorporate naturalistic features of self-presentation into research contexts and offer recommendations for ways to enhance and expand research on self-presentation. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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